Belgrade is the capital of Serbia and has a rich but also tragic history. In the twentieth century the city has been bombed no less than five times. Although still visible here and there, the city has cast it's tragedy and the inhabitants are looking forward vivaciously. Belgrade (which means 'White City') has impressive orthodox churches and other historical buildings (for instance, the National Museum and the National Theatre), but there are also ugly buildings from the communist times. At sunset it gets busy near the mighty Kalemegdan fortress. Belgrade's nightlife is definitely bustling, with floating restaurants on the rivers Sava and Donube, and many bars and nightclubs, which are open until sunrise.
The city has 1.6 million inhabitants.
Belgrade is located on the place where the Sava River flows into the Danube. The city center is hilly with the highest peak being the Torlak hill (303 m). South of the city, there are higher mountains, for instance the Avala (511 m) and the Kosmaj (628 m).
Belgrade has passed an economically difficult time, after Yugoslavia's collapse and the following wars and trade embargo. The city is recovering from this and the Financial Times has proclaimed Belgrade City of the Future. Furthermore, international companies such as Asus, Intel, Motorola, Microsoft, Carlsberg, Unilever and Procter & Gamble all have branches here.
Belgrade Airport is situated 18 kilometers from the center. The airport lies directly on freeway E70 (Belgrade – Zagreb) and therefore is easily accessible by rental car. The locals usually call Nikola Tesla Airport, Surčin Airport, after its location.
Belgrade has good public transport, consisting of buses, trams and trolleybuses. The buses are modern, but the trams are almost antique. Tram 2 runs around the city center. Furthermore, only on weekends there is a special bus service (400) to the top of mountain Avala. Avoid public transport during rush hours when buses and trams are overcrowded.
Except for rush hours, it is easy to explore the Serbian capital by rental car. Please note the yellow marked lanes: these are only for public transport. Sometimes for part of the day (rush hours), this is indicated on signs.
There are paid parking facilities in the city center, but for limited time only. A red line means you can park for a maximum of one hour, an orange line two hours and a green line three hours. You can pay at a parking meter, a kiosk, or with your mobile phone.
Furthermore, there are several parking garages (for instance under the old palace) and parking areas in the center, where you can park your rental car.
Many hotels have recently opened in Belgrade. There is ample supply, varying from simple pensions to five star hotels. There are also many apartments for rent. Belgrade is not a popular tourist destination (yet) and you will not have any trouble finding suitable accommodation.
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